SCIENCE NEWS - Mendenhall Elementary - Hillsborough County ...

SCIENCE NEWS - Mendenhall Elementary - Hillsborough County ...

Elementary Science Supervisor

Shana Tirado



Elementary Science Department


901 E. Kennedy Blvd.

P.O. Box 3408

Tampa, FL 33601-3408

School Mail Rte. #7

Science District Resource Teachers

Barbara Brightman

Jonathan Gerlach


Hillsborough County Public Schools

Volume 4, Issue 1

Fall 2010

Jonathan Gerlach, Editor

Hillsborough Teachers Honored

Hillsborough County is one of

nine counties in the Central

Florida region participating in

the PRISM Exemplary Teacher

program. The award is sponsored

by Central Florida

School Board Coalition, an

organization comprised of

business, government and

school leaders working to

promote improvement in science

and math throughout

Central Florida.

District principals in grades K-

12 submitted nominations for

Teachers of Promise, less

than 3 years of teaching experience,

and Teachers of

Excellence, more than 3 years

of teaching experience. From

the submitted applications the district committee

selected the teacher of excellence and

teacher of promise for each of the grade levels

K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 for both mathematics and

science. The district level selection criteria included

increasing student achievement, handson

experiences, cooperative work, multimedia

resources, participation in content area competitions,

participation and lead-

What a start to the year!

Thank you to all of our 2010

- 2011 HAEST members for

supporting science in Hillsborough

County schools. This

years membership drive had

fantastic outcomes, with

over 2750 members this

year. So far 54 schools have

reached 100% membership,

and its not too late for your

school to do the same!

Schools that reached 100%

membership by October 1st,

2010 were entered into a

drawing for a school-wide

membership to Robert

Krampf’s Happy Scientist website.

This years winner was

Dunbar Magnet! Congratulations!!!

ing professional development,

and participation in

district curriculum, and assessment


Congratulations to the 2010

Hillsborough County PRISM


2010 Teacher of Excellence -

Mary Vaughn – FishHawk

Creek Elementary

2010 Teacher of Promise -

Alyssa Mormon – Kenly


This fall the Florida Association

of Science Teachers honored

Jonathan Gerlach, District

Resource Teacher for Title I schools, as

the 2010 Outstanding Elementary School

Science Teacher. The award was presented at

the general meeting in October at the annual

conference. At this same conference the Florida

Engineering Foundation recognized Jonathan

as their 2010 STEM Outstanding Elementary


Barnes and Noble night was

a huge success again with

teachers coming out to both

Brandon and Carrollwood to

support science and mathematics


Some things to look out for

in the future:

HAEST Teacher Grants

SMath Dinner Meeting

Button Contest

HAEST 100% Dinner


And much, much more!!!

Inside this issue:

Hillsborough Public Schools

Science Olympics 2

MAD Science Center 3

Marble Cruises First

Grade Style

Becoming Bird


Where is the SMath? 4

Mendenhall Invaded

by Alligators!

LTI at Shaw 5

November Calendar 6



December Calendar 7

Students Aglow Over

Springhead Scientist

Coastal Ecology of

the Bahamas

See-through Gardens 9

Citrus Park Goes to

the Birds...

In the Mind of a Five

Year Old Scientist

My Summer Vacation:

Advanced Space











Splash Grant Winners 11

Grants 12

Special points of


Nov. 6th & 20th -

Science Olympics Area


Dec. 3rd - Space

Shuttle Discovery


Dec. 9th - Science

Olympics District


Dec. 31st - Grants and

Awards Due

(see page 12)

Page 2 Elementary Science Department Science News

Science Olympics

HAEST and Hillsborough County Science

Department are teaming up again this

year to host our Science Olympics. The

Science Olympics Semi Finals are at MOSI


Saturday, November 6, 2010 for Areas 2,

3, and 5

Saturday, November 20, 2010 for Areas

1,4,6, and 7

We are excited have 129 public, private

and charter schools participating on these

two weekends. Schools are divided into

different heats and the winner from each

heat will compete in the finals on

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at MOSI.

We hope that students have enjoyed participating

at the school level in the events.

The students should have had a lot of experiences

to problem solve and think creatively.

The events are as follows:

Kindergarten– Skyscrapers

Students will be given a set of materials

and with their partner, must build the tallest


Aquafoils– First Grade

Students will be given a piece of aluminum

foil. They must design a boat that holds

the most weight and still floats.

Second Grade– Paper Airplanes

Students will design a paper airplane that

will travel the furthest distance.

Third Grade– Balloon Racers

Pairs of students will create a vehicle that

is powered only by the air of a balloon.

Fourth Grade– Marshmallow Flyer

Teams of students will build a flyer that

launches a marshmallow the greatest distance.

Fifth Grade– Marble Roller Coasters

Teams of students will design a roller

coaster that will allow a marble to travel

on it and push a cup the furthest distance

at the end.


There have been a lot of great clarifying

questions from schools regarding the different

events. There has been a document

that all schools received regarding the

judges rulings on the events. With third

grade being the new addition we have

included the FAQ’s for this event.

1. The pasta comes in two different sizes;

the UPC is the same on both bags. What are

the students going to be using at the Science

Olympic event?

The students will be receiving the Davinci

wagon wheel pasta with the diameter in the

center measuring 5mm. Due to circumstances

beyond our control there may be

variances in the pasta.

The team of students will design a balloon

racer. It must be a device that is powered by

one balloon. It is not required to use all materials.

Materials may be manipulated. This

device will start on the floor at a designated

starting location. Students will have ten

minutes to build their design based on their

blueprints. Students will release their device.

Once the device stops moving, it will be

measured in a straight line from the closest

point of the device to the starting line. They

will have one try.

When at the start line, does the balloon need

to already be attached and blown up?

The students will have thirty seconds from

the time they get to the start line until the

time they need to release their vehicle.

Whatever they need to do in those thirty

seconds will be allowed.

If the balloon comes detached from the

vehicle, what will be measured?

The vehicle will be measured.

What if the students only use the balloon

and none of the other materials?

As stated in the science Olympic handbook

the vehicle must be powered by a balloon,

which means that the balloon needs to have

some sort of material to power. Students

can choose any of the materials from the list

in order to create a vehicle to be powered by

the balloon.

How will the racer be “started”?

Students will have thirty seconds once they

come up to the starting line in order to blow

up their balloon and attach it to their vehicle

if they choose. The vehicle must start on the

ground at the start line and will be measured

in a straight line to the closest point of the

vehicle. The vehicle will only be measured

if it traveled and stopped in a forward

direction from the starting line.

I know that the students do not need to

use all the materials; but do they have

to make a type of ground transportation;

i.e. a car, some vehicles end up flying.

There is no stipulation on the type of

vehicle that the students need to make.

The only ruling in the handbook is that

the vehicle must start on the ground at

the starting line; it then may take off in

the air. It will be measured where it

lands, as long as it has flown in a forward


When measuring the final distance of

the racer, how will the vehicle be measured?

The vehicle will be measured in a

straight line, perpendicular to the starting

line. The vehicle will be measured

from the starting line to the closest

point, if it has traveled in a forward direction.

Does the balloon need to be attached

to the racer, or can it be pointed behind

the racer and use the air to propel the

racer forward?

The balloon does not need to be attached

to the racer, it can be held by a

student from behind. The student must

make sure they do not touch the racer

in any way or they will be disqualified.

The vehicle is still being powered by the


Is it okay for students to hold the balloon

behind their racer and push the

racer with the air from the balloon? This

would mean students would be following

behind their vehicle- therefore crossing

the starting line.

The students can follow behind their

vehicle as long as it is clear to the

judges that they are not touching

the vehicle with anything! The rule

states that they must power the

vehicle using a balloon and the air

in the balloon, so it is fine if they

have thought outside of the box.

We look forward to seeing everyone at

MOSI. If you have any questions

please feel free to email– Michele


Page 3 Elementary Science Department Science News

- MaryAnn Davis, Lopez Elem.

Lopez Elementary School recently

installed a beautiful outdoor MAD

Science Center, courtesy of their

SAC group, to promote academics

in an outdoor setting. It is

going to be used for observations

and data collection on a myriad

of possible science activities

such as plant growth, cloud and

shadow observations, weather information,

solar experiments, flora and

fauna observations and activities,

energy sources, sound, and even

geological studies.

The design of the space is to allow

for full class instruction, collaborative

group work, individual activities, and/

or safe placement of experimental

materials. It is a circular space, put

in a full sun location, with curved

bench seating around the interior

circumference of the circle, to create

enough seating for an entire class.

The concrete benches have been

installed over mulch and weed mat.

MAD Science Center

The space does not have an actual

fence, but small bushes (Mrs.

Schiller’s Delight) have been planted

around the perimeter and will eventually

create a natural hedge separation.

There is a mulched access walkway,

wide enough for a wheelchair.

There is also a birdbath next to the


In addition to the SAC group, this

dream location was also possible because

of the support from Kerby's

Nursery in Seffner. Kerby’s gave us

cost pricing for the benches and

plants, and provided most of the

manpower for all of this installation,

the mulch, planting soil and fertilizer,

and the drip irrigation system as a

donation to the school. Brandon

Rental donated the use of a sodcutter

for the project.

Soon, we hope to add a sundial,

rain gauge, other weather equipment,

solar materials, shelving,

center tables, and more. Plans

on an even greater scale include

extending the walkway across to

the existing Butterfly Garden and

integrating the two spaces – one

for activities in the sun, the other

for shade projects.

The MAD Science Center is already

being put to good use.

During installation, the fifth grade

AGP students collected data on

everything from cubic yards of

mulch used, dimensions, manpower

hours, and weight of the

benches. Many teachers have

used that information for students

to write and solve word

problems. The MAD Science Center

has had many classes already

visit, too. We will take care of our

new space and it will last a long


Marble Cruises First Grade Style

- Georgianna Castellano,

Dickenson Elementary

As preparation for the 2010 Hillsborough

County Schools Science

Olympics begins, Dickenson First

Graders had a challenge set before

them. How many marble passengers

could set sail on an aluminum

foil boat and not sink at sea?

Each student was given a piece of

heavy duty aluminum foil and five

minutes to make a boat. The air

was filled with the rustling of foil

as the students scrambled to design

a boat. Then it was time to

test the waters. Each student approached

the marble boarding procedure

differently. One student carefully

counted out each

marble and gently

placed them one by

one on the foil. Another

grabbed a handful

and dumped them

on the boat he had

made. The air was

filled with excited

cries – “OOOOhhhhh

it’s floating!” to “Oh Man it’s sinking!”

The student who was able to place the

most marbles on the boat that did not

sink was declared the winner and

will participate in a First Grade

Aqua Foil Float-Off against the

other 5 Dickenson



classes. Our

class winner

was able to

float 174

marbles on

her first trial.

Will she be

the one to

represent our school at MOSI in

November? Only time will tell…

Page 4 Elementary Science Department

Becoming Bird Brainiacs

Science News

- Virginia Frissell, Twin Lakes El.

“Wow! Look at all those white

birds!” observed a precocious

third grader as she ventured towards


It happened so naturally

again this year. Students eagerly

wander to see me after breakfast

while I am on duty for morning

Science Club. Immediately,

they take notice of the wildlife in

the pond after the August and

September rains and wonder

why there are so many white

ibises. As the water in the temporary

wetland rises, we begin to

hear the “honk” of the ducks as

they swim about bobbing for

food. There were days that we

had a challenge counting the

birds because they were too numerous

to count.

And then the precipitation

dwindled and the ibises returned

again stabbing their long

curved orange beaks into the

softened mud until finally the

grass grew again in the dry pond

as a reminder that the temporary

wetland dries out.

- The SMath Guys

We’ve missed you lately at Where

is the SMath? Some new changes

are coming your way! We now have

weekly videos to discuss science

and math concepts with students!

Very soon you will be able to

search for pictures by math and

science concept, the SMath guys

are currently cataloging the over

200 pictures online! Here are a

few of our latest and greatest pics

you may have missed!

Those two brief weeks

hooked a new crop of “bird brainiacs”

and hurled us into long term

investigations to continue for the

remainder of the year. Students

began showing up with binoculars,

notebooks and field guides from

7:30-8:00 just to count and watch

birds. Next thing I know, I have

younger students asking if they

can join the bird club.

This natural fascination in

the world around us is a science

teacher’s dream. Students begin to

make better and careful observations

so they can later try to identify

the birds they see. This leads to

authentic research and reading

integration for real reasons.

Which birds come to eat at

our feeders daily? How often do we

Where is SMath?

need to fill the feeders? How many

days will the food last? What time

of day do we see more birds? How

do the backyard birds compare to

the wading birds that fly overhead?

Which bird is making that call?

Isn’t this how science should be

taught? Students are simply provided

time and experiences outdoors

so they can ask questions

that will lead them into their own

inquiries to investigate. I really

don’t have to do much in the way

of teacher preparation. Students

think and act like real scientists

and are responsible for their own

learning. I just say good morning

and enjoy their excitement.

Find out more about Becoming

Bird Brainiacs at the next

Symposium, attend our session at

NSTA’s San Francisco conference

in March 2011 or just email me so

your students, too, can engage in

REAL science. Project Feeder

Watch with Cornell University begins

in November and the Christmas

Day Count will be here soon,

so grab your science tools and get


Page 5 Elementary Science Department Science News

Mendenhall Invaded by Alligators!

- Linda Kniskern, Mendenhall Elem.

Teachers and students at

Mendenhall Elementary kicked off

Science in high gear this school year.

They began the school year with a

school wide long-term investigation.

Each classroom was provided a

“Growing Alligator”, the book Zack’s

Alligator by Shirley Mozelle, a pond in

which to grow their alligator (a large,

clear plastic container), and lesson

plans following the 5E Model of Instruction.

Students quickly fell in love

with the growing alligators giving them

names and treating

them like real pets.

Teachers used these

creatures to introduce

students to many Science

Process Skills

and science tools.

Students made predictions

about the

growth of their class

alligator. They used

their senses to observe

their alligator’s

color, shape, and texture.

They used their

hand lenses to get a

closer look

at the details of their alligator.

Students measured

and recorded the growth of

their alligators each day

utilizing the tape measure

to get its length and width

and the balance scale to

measure the alligator’s

mass. Some students even

kept track of the area of

their alligator by tracing its

outline onto graph paper. In

LTI @ Shaw

- Christina Dawson & Cathy Isaacs,

Shaw Elementary

Our first grade team at Shaw

Elementary School is currently observing

a Long Term Investigation. We began

the year with our “Rye Guy”! Boy

was that cool. The students patiently

recorded what their Rye Guy looked like

daily. It took him a while to get his hair

going. We actually had to give him a

shower (water poured over his head)

and put him in the window to get his to

grow hair! Wow….Did he ever sprout a

doo!! This really got the children excited.

Our second

Long Term Investigation

was observing and

recording the growth of

Grow Creatures. We

began measuring and

journaling our data on a

daily basis to document

their growth while in

tubs of water, to which

we periodically added

water keeping the level

consistent. The creatures

included a variety

of aquatic animals including sharks, dol-

addition, students

were conscientious

about keeping

the water level

of their alligator’s

pond consistent

from day to day,

so they used

measuring cups to

make sure the

same amount of

water was present

each day. Many

primary grade

teachers kept a

large classroom

chart to record the

information collected about their alligators

while the intermediate students

recorded their alligator’s data in their

Science Journals.

Teachers agreed the alligator

investigation was the perfect way to

kick off Science this school year. Students

were engaged with science tools

and Science Process Skills. They were

motivated to learn and having fun too.

Mendenhall students are definitely

excited about Science!

phins, turtles, stingrays, starfish, and alligators.

The students were amazed to discover

that the Grow Creatures more than

doubled their size throughout

the two weeks of our investigation.

Using this information the

students learned to graph their

data. After the two week period,

we removed the creatures

from the water as continuation

to this investigation, and we are

now documenting the amount

of time it takes them to return

to their original size by measuring


We are looking forward to many

more exciting Long Term Investigations

within our First Grade Team!

Page 6

Elementary Science Department Science News

November 2010—Science Trainings and Important Dates

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

1 2 3 4 5 6

7 8 9 10 11 12 13

14 15




Electrical Extravaganza

Mrs. Sindelar’s 5 th grade class at

Turner Elementary held an Electrical

Extravaganza to investigate

electrical connections. Through

hands-on inquiry, students conducted

four investigations: Conductor

or Insulator, Static Strokes, Path

Finders, and Making Electromag-

16 17 18




nets. Each inquiry

had the students

AMAZED at the outcomes.

The students

were able to

predict the results,

test their predictions,

and see the




clearing up any misconceptions

they may

have previously had

about electricity. At

the end of the Electrical

Extravaganza, students

found the Con-

19 20

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

28 29 30

Space Shuttle

Discovery Launches

ductor or Insulator inquiry to be the

one, which really amazed them most.

According to Kevin, “I thought only

metal objects could be conductors of

electricity, and it turned out so can a

GLUE STICK, now that was SHOCK-


*** *** Don’t forget to check out our website for important information! http:.// *** ***

Page 7

Students Aglow Over Springhead Scientist

- Amy Stockard, Springhead Elem.

Springhead Elementary Students

are gearing up for a science filled

year. Albert Springstein, (think Albert

Einstein) an inquisitive and wacky

new scientist, has recently joined

Springhead’s growing science and

math communities. On Monday during

the morning show, Albert Springstein

and two students introduce a

short term investigation or math

challenge related to upcoming essential

questions. This allows students

in all grade levels to preview

science and math concepts and

build schema. So far Albert and students

have been able to investigate

in the areas of nature of science

and number sense. This week the

Elementary Science Department Science News

December 2010—Science Trainings and Important Dates

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

5 6 7

Aviation Day

12 13 14 15

19 20 21



1 World AIDS Day 2 3 4

8 9

glowing egg experiment introduced

students to chemical changes and

an estimation station related to

benchmark number. Classes are

encouraged to ask questions,

make observations and infer-

10 Nobel Prize


16 17 Wright

Brothers Day

22 23 24 25

26 27 28 29 30 31

11 Training Day

Superheroes I

Superheroes II

5 E’s

Calendar Science

Long Term Inv.

Science Fair



ences, and discuss various

hypotheses and strategies.

During the week, interest

and intrigue build. Students

and teachers discuss questions

and challenges related

to the investigation.

These exchanges are building

excitement and strong

learning communities. Friday

during the morning

show, results are revealed

and home extensions are

offered. This school wide engagement

piece has excited students

and teachers, and has been a great

vehicle to generate SCIENCE and

MATH talk. Maybe a more appropriate

name would be Albert SMATHstein!

Page 8

- Michele Wiehagen, Foster El.

I received a generous grant

from the Tampa Bay Rays.

They sent me on an Earthwatch

trip to Cat Island in the

Bahamas. Our task was to

study the Coastal Ecology of

the Bahamas. I flew to the Bahamas

and met 8 other people

from around the world. Our

research team consisted of

other teachers, business professionals

and graduate students

from the States and the

Bahamas. Our head researcher

was a Marine Biology

Professor from University of

Miami. I learned a lot being

part of this team; we were up

daily at 5:30 a.m. and working

on the coast by 6 every morning.

We were split into different

teams with each team being

responsible for different


The first two days I was on the

water quality team, along with

a College of Bahamas graduate

student; we took samples

of water and sediments

around the whole island. We

tested the water for the pH,

temperature, salinity, dissolved

oxygen, and turbidity.

We then were responsible for

doing 1- hour snorkeling dives

in that area collecting as many

different types of algae we

could find. We did this at a

variety of locations throughout

Elementary Science Department Science News

Coastal Ecology of the Bahamas

the day. In the evenings, when

we would get back to our residence,

we would have a lecture

about the Bahamas and then

lab work. Our lab work for the

water quality team consisted

running tests on the samples we

took, separating the sediments

to find out the content, and

separating and identifying all

the algae we found.

The next two days I was on the

fish team with two other graduate

students; we would do one

hour of snorkeling, fish surveys,

and transects. We were responsible

for keeping a record of

every type of fish we saw as we

swam. We were interested in

finding lion fish; they are an invasive

species to the Bahamas

and are eating the native fish,

killing out populations. If we

found a lion fish on our dives,

we were to spear it and record

where it was found. Part of our

community outreach was to

teach the residents of Cat Island

about these lion fish, which are

extremely poisonous. After

spearing a lion fish, we would

dissect the fish to find out what

it was feeding on and this data

was submitted to the Bahamian


The following two days I was on

the Coastal profile team; where

we worked with the head researcher,

Dr. Kathleen Sealey.

We found the elevation along

the coastline, the different zones

of the area, and the vegetation

that is native and invasive of the

area. After we did the coastal

profiling, we were responsible

for doing 1- hour snorkel dives

to find the different types of

coral that were present at the

site. We rotated on these teams

for two weeks, compiling all of

the data to create a profile of

the island.

Learning all of this I am excited

to bring the ideas back to the

classroom. I plan on taking the

students to the Hillsborough

River, dividing them into these

teams, and having them participate

in gathering similar data.

This data can then be utilized in

the formation of a community

Page 9

- Glenda Tombs, Muller Magnet

As an environmental sciences

magnet school, Muller has a garden,

named the Gator Garden

after our mascot! First through

third grade students participate in

a weekly gardening class. Each

class has their own 10’ x 10’ garden

box in our Gator Garden.

We plant flowers and vegetables

See-Through Gardens

- Cheryl Carroll and Judith Fell, Citrus Park Elem.

In May of 2010, a new bird feeding station took

wing at Citrus Park Elementary. Made possible through

monies from the Tampa Bay Rays as part of an Earthwatch

grant, the large, yet intimate viewing station

made of nylon covered chain length fence, features twoway

mirrors, bird feeders, plantings and birdbaths.

The bird feeding station, located adjacent to the

Elementary Science Department Science News

in them. One of the first things we

do in the school year is to plant

our See-Through Gardens. Using

a 16-oz. plastic cup, the students

fill the cup with some soil

and using the eraser end of a

pencil make a hole on the side of

the cup for their flower seed.

They drop the seed in the hole

and cover it over with soil. Using

this as a long-term investigation,

each week the students monitor

the growth of their seed. The students

get so excited when their

roots and sprouts begin to

emerge. They measure the

length of the root that they

can see through the side of

the cup, the height of the

sprout, and count the number

of leaves, etc. They record all

their observations and measurements

in their garden field journals.

When the plants are tall

enough, we transplant them into

our garden, where the students

can continue their observations,

eventually experiencing the joy of

seeing their flowering plant


Citrus Park Goes to the Birds...

lunchroom, was designed by parent Paul Foley and constructed

by the Dad’s Club at the school. Students have

been observing, identifying, photographing and counting

birds that feed and water at the station throughout

the year. Specialized plants as well as

seed attract a variety of birds, butterflies and squirrels.

AGP students

have been

maintaining the

station, with individual


now signing up to

monitor and manage

the station on

a weekly basis. A

school-wide naming

contest for the

station is now underway.

For more

information contact

Judith Fell.

Page 10

- Mary Vaughn, FishHawk Creek Elementary

This past Summer I participated in my second fellowship

to the Honeywell Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. (I

attended for the first time in June 2008.) The camp, sponsored

by Honeywell employees, is the best professional

development opportunity that I have ever participated in!

This past Summer, sixteen teachers from around the globe

completed many astronaut simulated activities such as

Area 51. In Area 51 our team, one at a time, climbed a

telephone pole, completed a 360 degree turn and jumped.

We were left suspended in midair and put all of our trust

in our team members. It was an amazing experience!

We had three simulated missions. In each of these I was

assigned different titles such as CAPCOM in Mission Control,

the Commander on the flight deck, or a scientist on

the International Space Station. My favorite and most

challenging task was landing the shuttle successfully as

the shuttle’s Commander. Each mission was about an

hour long except for our last mission which lasted three

hours and went late into the night.

One of the most exciting activities that one can participate

in the advanced camp is underwater diving. The Space

Camp has a diving tank on campus that allowed us to experience

a simulation of the weightless environment in

space. In this tank campers were able to swim to the bottom

and work as a team to complete some building activities.

During the camp we were transported to Kennedy Space

Center where we received a tour of the Vehicle Assembly

Elementary Science Department Science News

In the Mind of a Five Year Old Scientist

- Julia Jackson, Bryan Elementary

Once a Kindergarten student is told that

“Science” is the entire world and universe

around them – it is love

at first sight. There is no

greater joy for me as a

Kindergarten Science

teacher than opening

that world for my students.

At Bryan Elementary

School, tucked away in

Pod A, 31 little Scientists

are learning how to observe and record information

about the world around them. They

complete weekly journal entries that include

the date, an illustration of the topic,

labels, and an “I wonder” question.

So far this year our journals include

entries about Scientists Tools, our

Five Senses, and the parts of the

pumpkin plants that are growing in

our classroom. They are slowly learning

to love the Scientific Process and

it is wonderful!

In our classroom, which is a co-teach

model, we have a hands on Science center

set up at all times. Students are able to observe

and touch all kinds of fun stuff: snake

skin, cicada shells, quartz, plants, and autumn

leaves. The Scientific Tools are also on

the table with labels for the students to use

and explore: forceps, magnifying glasses,

balance scales, droppers, and tape measures

to name a few!

I never doubt for a moment that the children

sitting in my classroom are the future Scientists

of our world. The mind of a five year old

Scientist is a miraculous thing!

My Summer Vacation - Honeywell Advanced Space Academy

Building and a drive around the launch pads. We also were

able to tour the International Space Station Processing Facility

where pieces that go to the space station are processed.

One highlight was a discussion of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

which will go up on the February 27, 2011 mission.

(This is the last scheduled shuttle mission.) The AMS will be

installed on the main truss of the ISS. It is designed to reveal

the origin and structure of the universe.

This trip to the Kennedy Space Station was very unique, as I

knew that for many of the Advanced Campers this might be

their first and only trip to Kennedy Space Center. Seven of

the sixteen campers were from countries such as Germany,

Scotland, Romania, and South Africa.

Upon returning to Huntsville, Alabama we continued with

LEGO Robotics – a fun and engaging way to encourage students

to work as teams. LEGO Robotics incorporates science,

technology, engineering, and math (STEM) into the

math/science curriculum. We also were inspired by a presentation

from Robert L. (Hoot) Gibson, a retired astronaut.

I highly encourage any elementary, middle, or high school

science or math teacher who is interested in space, design

challenges, or Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics

(STEM) training to apply to be awarded the Honeywell

Space Camp next Summer. You leave with many

higher level activities to engage your students so that they

can be inspired to go into the math and science fields.

To learn more and apply for a fellowship log onto http://

Page 11

Elementary Science Department Science News

Splash Grant Award Winners

School Project Title Teacher Name

Bevis Elementary Growing Green – Hydroponic Gardening Leigh Crosson

Chiles Elementary Sustainable, Water Saving Gardening Jane Kemp

Chiles Elementary Watershed Wildlife Watchers Lori Hanson

Clair-Mel Elementary Rain Barrell Roundup Sylvia Ellis

Foster Elementary Outdoor Habitats Michele Wiehagen

Hunter’s Green Wet, Wonderful, Water in Florida Cheryl Pahl

Jackson Elementary “Got Water???” Deborah Flock

Just Elementary Just Go Gree H2O! Karen-Vanessa Brown

Just Elementary Preserve Angelina Ferlita-


Kenly Elementary Environmental Wonders Alyssa Mormon

Kingswood Elementary Panther’s Awesome Water Study (PAWS) Scott Coonfare

Lincoln Magnet Hydro Plant Factory Cathy Townsend

Lomax Elementary Sustainable Salad 4 Sarah Thompson

Mabry Elementary Florida Friendly Mabry Dolphins Garden Kathleen Boyle

MacFarlane Park IB Saving the Earth One Drop at a Time Joyce Hoehn-Parish

Muller Magnet Wonderful Water! Kathy Dimitrievski

Pizzo Elementary Protecting Our Walking Trees Kim Burnett

Pride Elementary Estuary Edventurists: Excite! Explore! Empower! Jennell Graham

Sheehy Elementary Conservation Why does it Matter Deborah Gwyn

Twin Lakes Elementary Wild Wonderful Watersheds Virginia Frissell

Page 12

Elementary Science Department Science News


Seaworld & Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award

Since 1993, the awards have recognized the outstanding efforts of students and teachers

across the country who are working at the grassroots level to protect and preserve the environment.

Eight projects will be selected. Each winning group will receive: $10,000 to benefit

the award-winning project and an all-expenses-paid trip for three (3) students and one (1)

adult leader to a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park for a special awards event.

Deadline: December 1st, 2010

Disney’s Planet Challenge

Disney’s Planet Challenge (DPC) Elementary School program is a project-based environmentally-focused

national competition for 3rd-5th grade students. DPC is a unique chance for

teachers to blend standards-based content, critical thinking skills, and environmental principals

in a class project that moves students from awareness to action for a positive impact on

their community. State Level prizes and National Prizes include Teacher awards, School

awards and Student awards.

Deadline: December 17th, 2010

The Captain Planet Foundation

The Captain Planet Foundation gives grants to projects that promote understanding of

environmental issues, focus on hands-on involvement, promote interaction and cooperation

within the group and help young people develop planning and problem solving skills.

Grants awarded by the Foundation are $250 - $2,500.

Deadline: December 31st, 2010

2010-2011 Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy

Honeywell and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center are now accepting applications for the

2010-2011 Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy program from grade level 3-12 school

science and math teachers from around the world.

Deadline: December 31, 2010.

NOAA Teachers @ Sea

Explore the ocean floor, maintain wildlife populations, work right along scientists for up to 14

days through NOAA. This real-world science experience is perfect to take back to your classroom

and share with your students. Applications due Dec. 31, 2010.

Awards for Excellence in Educating Students About STEM

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Classroom Grants are

awarded to encourage excellence in educating students about math, science, technology,

and engineering. Maximum Award: $200.

Deadline: Rolling.

HAEST Teacher Grants

Coming Soon… Be on the look out for HAEST grants to help you develop

STEM projects in your classroom.

Will be posted in IDEAS




















Don’t forget to apply for

grant opportunities. XXXXXXXXXXXX We

love to see recipients

from Hillsborough!!!

County School Board

Doretha W. Edgecomb, Chair

Candy Olson, Vice Chair

April Griffin

Carol W. Kurdell

Jack R. Lamb, Ed.D.

Susan L. Valdes

Stacy R. White, Pharm.D.

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